Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, October 05, 2007

Afghan refugees struggle to make new life in Iran

There are an estimated 1.5 million illegal Afghan migrants in Iran, many of whom are facing social and economic difficulties in the country, according to Epoch Times.

The refugees have come to occupy low-wage jobs in the agriculture and construction sectors; this undercutting of wages has fostered resentment from local Iranians.

Government restrictions now dictate where Afghans can live and access to education for children has also been impeded, as refugee families have little money to pay for tuition.

In April, the Iranian government began to forcibly deport refugees, often times with violence. “These refugees are there without any electricity, water, food, and jobs,” said Sohila Farhad, an activist with the Afghanistan-based RAWA humanitarian organization, of the Afghans forcibly deported.

However, Vivian Tan, a spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UHCHR), emphasized that protestations from the Afghan government, the international community, and the UNHCR has led the Iranian government to tone down its violent approach, and the number of forced deportations have even decreased in recent months.

For the full article, click here.

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